Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top paddles of 2013 - #1

My top paddle for the year was a solo, 35 km circumnavigation of Bell Island from St. Philips.  The original post is here.

I left for Bell Island with the intention of just doing a crossing but had it in the back of my mind to extend the paddle once I got over there.  When I got in the middle of the Tickle the swell increased to the point where I couldn't see the island.

By the time I got over I developed some comfort in the swell and decided to paddle to the north end and have a look.  The swell increased substantially but was running from the north.  I reasoned that if I stayed a bit offshore I'd be safe and with the northerly swell behind me I'd make good progress down the west side.

Looking down the coastline I was acutely aware that I was totally alone and out of eyesight of anyone.  It was, in a way, a liberating feeling.

I came around one final bend in the shoreline and spotted the "bell" of Bell Island.  I was at the southern end of the island.

At Front Bell Cove I stopped for lunch.  The rest of the circumnavigation would be along the east side and more protected from the swell.  The comforting sight of the mainland shore lay to starboard.

At Scotia Pier I was almost around the island.  I stopped for a brief stretch at Dominion Pier before making the remaining 5 km crossing back to St. Philips.

It wasn't an epic journey or anything compared to more illustrious paddlers who, for example circumnavigated the island of Newfoundland, but it was a significant bit of work for me.  The feeling of paddling alone and having to be responsible for my own safety made this paddle my top paddle.  That decision is subjective.  Every paddle is a great paddle.  This one just stuck out more in my mind as I reflected on the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment